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While searching through one of the boxes of comic books we dug out yesterday, I found my collections of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and DC CHALLENGE.

CRISIS is a series that is very well-known in the field, as I've mentioned here before. It was a worlds-shattering storyline, so it's fairly obvious why my teenage self bagged them away very carefully.

But the DC CHALLENGE... Ah. The DC CHALLENGE was a twelve-issue round-robin maxiseries. A different writer/artist team worked on each book, and the premise of the setup was that each issue was supposed to end with a cliffhanger, which the next team had to resolve. Furthermore, if any member of the team was a regular writer of a particular character, they had to avoid using that character in their issue.

I loved this series. It was literally the favorite comic book of my childhood. In fact, if you told me that I was only allowed to keep one comic series from my childhood, this would be the one.

The storyline incorporated dozens of minor characters throughout the DC universe, and the plot twisted around in bizarre ways that made no sense. It was obvious pretty quickly that the story would fit nowhere in DC continuity. But one could see the writers struggling to make the story work, and in the end, even if the story wasn't resolved perfectly, it was obvious that the book was a lot of fun for the creators behind it. (Probably it was a lot of heartache, too, but there it is.)

Sadly for me, most comic fans have forgotten the series or dismiss it as a stunt. I'd love to see DC Comics re-release it as a collected edition, but apparently the market just isn't there. (If anyone out there wants to prove DC wrong, write a letter to them, attention to Editor - Collected Editions. I'd love to see them flooded with requests for it. In fact, I think I'll go write my letter now...)

There's an interesting postscript. Years later, I find myself good friends with bob_greenberger, who was the editor of the book. Bob literally helped put together some of the most memorable stories of my childhood, which means he bears some responsibility for who I am today. (I am sure he is shaking his head as he reads this.)

And, as a second postscript, I routinely read the blog of the man who came up with the idea in the first place: Mark Evanier. He doesn't think it was succesful, but I respectively disagree.

If you want to learn more about the book, see Beek's Books - The DC Challenge! (comicbook reviews).

Now, to go rebag them -- but carefully...


Hurray! That's extra-good news because the eBay one went to someone else.
Ah, well. I'm sure I'll snag another set at some point.

In any event, I'm delighted to be driving the price up... :-)
I'm glad you found your copy but you'd probably get more traction if you asked for a TPB.
Traction? What? I'm not sure I understand. As I said in this post, I'd love to see DC do a collected edition of DC Challenge. Whether they decide to go with a hardcover or a trade paperback would be up to them.
Sounds fantastic. I love books whose focus switches with it's creative team from month-to-month.
There was a far too short lived book in the Ultimate line called "Ultimate Marvel Team-Up", where each month, Spider-Man would team up with a different character drawn by an appropriately different artist (such as Mike Allred on Iron Man or Phil Hester on Hulk).
I'm especially excited for the upcoming Brave and the Bold revival (which seems to have a startlingly similar premise to DC Challenge), and 52, which gets a new team and character every week!
What is the premise for B&B? Someone downstream in the replies has asked...
While the Brave and the Bold does not switch writers, I believe the artists and the characters change every issue or so.
I still have my run of Crisis (with one double), but I'm not sure if I remember Challenge... I may not have seen it at the time.
Well, it looks like I may have succedeed in acquiring a second set, so if I did, you can borrow it. (I know you'll treat it right.)
Very cool! Thanks for the confidence. :-)


Hey, you have to like the book that was the first to bring back B'wana Beast!

Um, I thought the upcoming B&B was to be written by Mark Waid, not a changing team every issue ala DC Challenge?

Shouldn't you be replying using your LJ account?

I don't know about B&B. fhwqhgads mentioned it above.


Ah yes - Crisis on Infinite Earths.. I wrote one of my first usenet posts to rec.comics when Crisis #7 came out, reviewing the death of Supergirl, among other things. I remember getting a wonderful comment on my review from jayembee. I kvelled for days.

I also thought the proper theme music for Crisis was Talking Heads' Once in a lifetime
"This is not my beautiful house.... this is not my beautiful wife!"

I thought about taking a picture of my reading an issue under the sign at work that said 'Don't bother me - I'm having a crisis!" and sending it in, but I never got around to it.

Kol Tuv


December 2016

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